fbpx Theater for Social Justice | Phillips Exeter Academy

THR200: Theater for Social Justice

This course creates a united team of student artists exploring one or more social issues.

This course creates a united team of student artists exploring one or more social issues. Intended to ignite a passion for drama and an equal passion for social justice, students collaboratively develop and perform an original work of theater. They spend the first part of the term acquiring and honing basic theater skills and learning about the many different ways communities express views on social justice through drama. Our reference points include Augusto Boal's classic Theater of the Oppressed and his subsequent Games for Actors and Non-Actors. We also refer to more contemporary texts, such as Staging Social Justice - Collaborating and Creating Activist Theater by Norma Bowles. Next, after group research and discussion, we select and focus on one social issue and individuals create monologues and/or slam poetry expressing their views on that issue. Finally, we collectively decide on and create an original theater piece, using resources that might include newsprint journalism, court transcripts, personal interviews and improvisation to create a unified and coherent piece of theater for performance. As a service-learning component of the course, students share this production with the town of Exeter.